Feb 11, 2009

Scott's quiz

Scott, author of Life is Grand, Love is Real and Beauty is Everywhere!, has created a music quiz for all in blogger land to answer. A long one for sure, but one that I found most interesting. Fancying himself a music buff I'm sure his answers can and will be far more interesting than mine, but still this should be fun to write.

1) What's a piece of music, any genre, any year, and form, (i.e 45, album, MP3, etc), that you often return to. Something that continually resonates throughout your life, and seems to gain greater impact as you grow older. How often do you find yourself seeking this piece?

Tough question, but the genre I often revert to all through my life would have to be big band. Starting as a youngster I enjoyed the sounds that accompanied old Looney Tunes. After playing with an AM radio that I made with an electronic lab I found a station that played nothing but tunes by Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, and George Gershwin. The music was pleasant as well as exciting. As I grew older I continued listening to it and when swing became all the rage in the late 90s many record companies started distributing more of this old sound. With age creeping towards my inevitable death due to liver failure I find myself often romanticising my youth. Listening to big band takes me back to memories of my grandfather smoking his cigar in his chair, my dear friend Kevin (RIP), and a girl I once loved.

2) Is there a specific story that relates to this?

One weekend a few friends and I were drinking heavily at a party. I awoke at 5:30 am to my friend Jeff telling me that the bars were now open and we must go and drink more. Stumbling to a neighborhood dive we entered the place and found ourselves the only customer's sans an older couple. The place stunk of cigarettes and death, but we ordered our beers and made merry.

The place had a jukebox and I decided to liven up the morning with some tunes. It had a complication CD of big band swing and I decided that would be appropriate. Dave, who is an excellent dancer, asked the older woman to step onto the floor with him. She danced as he led her around the floor and kept up pretty well. Her face was beaming with delight as Dave showed excellent prowess.

Karin and I sat with her husband and made small talk. He told us he's never seen his wife smile so much in years. For that short time she was having the time of her life. After the song was over Dave, ever the gentleman, thanked her, gave her a slight bow, and walked her back to the table. She sat with a giddy look, almost on the verge of blushing. She put her hand on her husbands knee as he put his arm around her. They just glowed.

The couple looked like they've done some hard living. This neighborhood bar was their escape from the strenuous work they've toiled for decades. Most early morning for them were probably mundane as the years went on, but for that moment they were the happiest couple on the Earth. It's a memory I hope to never forget.

3) Was there a piece of music, despite the fact that you may have "outgrown" it now that at one time changed your life? How about something you feel you'll never outgrow?

I can't really say a piece of music has changed my life. Literature maybe, but not music. I suppose it could. People have those moments set to songs who claim to help them fall in love, inspire them to do something great, or kill their parents in a Satanic ritual. Can't say that's happened to me yet.

4) Could a piece of music that you found in common with a stranger bond you for life? Is there a story behind that?

I suppose it could, especially if the two are musicians. There's only one moment I can recall now that might qualify. I was working at a movie theatre and was scheduled to watch the doorman's podium with a girl I found to be rather attractive. We chatted it up as we were cleaning one auditorium and I commented how I enjoyed the classical music accompanying the end credits. She stated she was a huge fan herself. I asked her out, we dated for a while, then broke up. After years of not speaking, mostly due to the fact I was a terrible boyfriend, we reconnected through the power of them there intertubes and instantly I thought of that piece. She was surprised I remembered it and we still remain friends.

5) Is there a favorite artist that you had that you gave up on only to have him or her redeem themselves?

I guess the best answer for this would be Metallica. Most artists I gave up on never quite redeemed themselves in my book, but after the often referred to Black album I found everything they created since disappointing. Then came the S&M CD which I found not only creative, but it mixed metal and classical which are two of my favorite genres. Sadly the band hit a slump and I'm waiting to enjoy another one by them again.

6) Has music ever got you through some really tough times? How?

I've never had what one would call a rough life so not really. Sure I've had moments of personal drama, depression, loss of loved ones, but since I'm a pampered American who knows nothing of real pain I have to say no.

That being said I guess one song that always brightens me up when I feel low has to be 'As Time Goes By'.

7) Can music change the world or is that naive wishful thinking?

Music, as any art, can indeed inspire change so I would have to say yes; however indirect an influence it may be. As much of a romantic as I can be I would like to think of David playing to Saul and as a result forever changing the landscape of Palestine and ensuring the survival of a race of people it may be just a story.

8) Is Rock and Roll dead?

Hard to say. I don't keep up with modern music enough to say it's truly dead, but there are enough people who still keep listening to keep the genre's heart pulsing, albeit at a slow rate. I guess it would also depend on what your definition of Rock and Roll is.

9) What's the song you wish played at you wedding? How about your funeral?

The wedding is a tough one to answer as it would depend on who I'm marrying. My funeral though I would like someone to play Hallelujah.

10) What's the greatest live show you ever saw? In what year? Why? How old were you then? Did you attend with friends? Were you a skeptic going in?Did you enter a huge fan? How about the most disappointing show? Why?

Quite possibly the greatest live show I've seen was Lenny Kravitz. I took my friend Amy to see him for her birthday. I wasn't interested in going really, but he put on an amazing show. The guy really knew how to work an audience. In the middle of his set he split opened his hand and told us he was going to bandage it up. Most rock stars would've ran off stage whimpering only to never return, but the rest of the band played on, he wrapped up his hand, and finished the set including an encore for us. While I'm not a big fan of his music he was one of the greatest performers I've yet to see.

Most disappointing show I've gone to was a Ministry concert years ago. It wasn't bad. It just wasn't that good.

11) Has your feelings about recorded or live music changed over the years?


12) Do you listen to radio? How do you listen to music?

Amazingly enough I do listen to the radio. Mostly I tune in for news, but sometimes I try to keep up with growing music trends. I mostly listen to music at work or through a computer.

13) Has the amount of time you listen to music changed over the years? To what extent?

With the advent of personal listening devices going digital and sitting in front of a computer all day at work I would have to say the amount of music I consume on a daily basis has more than doubled.

14) In these tough economic stressful times do you gravitate towards a different kind of music, i.e happy, nostalgic, the blues, then you did say, 4 years ago?

I don't actually. My tastes and listening habits remain the same.

15) You're stuck on a desert isle, you've got a mix Cd with 10 songs you're stuck with until your dying day, (or at leas until you're rescued) what are those 10 songs and why?

Picking the list below is a tough one. I try to pick songs that of course will entertain as well as remind me of home.

Back in Black
Seek and Destroy
Haocyn & On and On
On My Own
As Time Goes By
Raphsody in Blue
Moonlight Serenade

"A lot of people can't stand touring but to me it's like breathing. I do it because I'm driven to do it." - Bob Dylan


JLee said...

That is a great meme. You are one of the few people I've heard of that like big band music. It reminds me of the movie "Swingers". Although I don't listen to it much, I would always love to hear it when my friend and I used to go to these dances at a ballroom she took lessons at. We would swing dance and tango and it was the most fun time! I just love the story of the older couple...I can just picture it.

Scott said...

I had no idea you were a big band guy. Very interesting and thanks a lot for doing the post.

Kravitz as greatest live show, very interesting as well.

Miss Ash said...

Interesting answer to #1

As for the last question Stripped is a great choice and are you referring to the Les Miserables 'On my own'?